Health science students’ perceptions about Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) as a method of clinical evaluation
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Nursing Professional Development and Saudization Program, Nursing Administration, King Fahad Military Medical Complex, Dhahran, SAUDI ARABIA
Quality Assurance Department, Deanship of Quality and Academic Accreditation, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, P. O. Box 1982, SAUDI ARABIA
Nursing Education Department, College of Nursing, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, P. O. Box 1982, Dammam, SAUDI ARABIA
Accreditation Department, Deanship of Quality and Academic Accreditation, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, P. O. Box 1982, Dammam, SAUDI ARABIA
Independent Researcher, Dhahran, SAUDI ARABIA
Environmental and Public Health and Research Activity / Preventive Medicine Department, King Fahd Military Medical Complex, Dahran 31932, SAUDI ARABIA
Nursing Department, Prince Sultan Military College of Health Sciences, Dhahran, SAUDI ARABIA
Publication date: 2022-09-17
Electron J Gen Med 2022;19(6):em416
For decades, practical clinical examinations have been valid and reliable methods to evaluate health sciences undergraduate students’ clinical performance and competencies for a wide range of skills. Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) is a widely used practical clinical examination. This study aims to assess health sciences students’ perceptions about OSCE as an evaluation method of clinical skills acquisition.

A descriptive cross-sectional design was used, and 157 students of five health science programs, who undergo real-time OSCE at Prince Sultan Military College of Health Sciences (PSMCHS), Dhahran, were invited to participate in this study. Data were collected through a structured questionnaire and analyzed quantitatively.

The findings revealed that 57.8% of the participants perceived OSCE positively due to its unique features related to structure, logical sequence, standardized score tools, and coverage of a broad spectrum of critical clinical skills. On the contrary, 62.3% (n=96) of participants believed OSCE was stressful, and 58.4% (n=90) thought it was threatening because of inadequate preparation.

Health sciences students perceived OSCE as an effective evaluation method for clinical skills. However, OSCEs generate feelings of uncertainty and aggravate a high-stress level. This stress requires the educators at the academic and clinical settings to conduct dry run simulated scenarios beforehand to orient and guide students to manage and confound their stress and anxiety during real-life OSCE experiences.

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